Only a few weeks ago, we were talking about working from home as a benefit we’d all like, but now for many of us, it’s an everyday reality. Like Bruce Bogtrotter with chocolate cake, we’d like to avoid too much of a good thing becoming a burden, and so with Matilda-like research, we’ve compiled this list of essentials to ensure you don’t get cabin fever.
Get up on time
When it’s a semi-regular occurrence, working from home can be a great excuse for a longer snooze than your regular commute requires, however when you’re stuck in your living room for days on end, that lay in can make you sluggish and slovenly. Still waking at your usual hour (or very close to) ensures you not only stay in your routine but can get all of those chores, that might otherwise distract you, out of the way.
Get showered and dressed
It might be really tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day, but even changing into sweatpants is going to make you so much more productive and help you avoid that slouch, that turns into a slump, that turns into a nap.
When you’re not using your tea breaks as a chance to get away from your desk, making sure you’re drinking enough can fall by the wayside. Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day, to avoid lethargy and headaches.
Not only can emails be misconstrued, causing mistakes and occasionally animosity, but that’s not the only reason you should be utilising both voice and video calls. Great workplaces thrive on communication and community, it’s vital that whilst working from home we maintain that, even if it can’t be achieved by meals out and drinks in the local.
Get 20/20 vision
Who knew that when Susan would come to your desk every 20 minutes, she was actually doing you a favour? With the lack of distractions from our colleagues, we may find ourselves staring at the screen for prolonged periods of time, which can actually be damaging for your eyes. Instead, ensure you’re using the 20/20 rule. Look at something in the distance for 20 seconds every 20 minutes and you’ll avoid straining your eyes.
Here at Goodman Masson, we’ve always been huge advocates of communicating both the good and the bad with our people, and now, this is more important than ever. To avoid spreading fear and misinformation and to navigate a lack of face-to-face interactions, pick a software for your people to chat on and stick to it. From WhatsApp to Outlook, make sure that everybody knows where they have to go for updates, so they don’t get bogged down in applications.
Get in sync
If your team thrives on collaboration and competition, that doesn’t need to end now. Schedule times for certain activities and recap when that time is over, so that everyone can share their achievements and help to rectify any issues.
For some of us, the best part about working from home is the freedom to cook fresh food at lunch and the time to prepare a proper meal at breakfast. For others, the thought of no Pret a Manger or Abokado to break up the day is already making us miss the office. Whichever camp you reside in, make sure you’re prepared for the munchies, try to make healthy choices, and still stick to regular mealtimes, instead of pushing them later and later. Also, note to self, just because you CAN have a fry up every day doesn’t mean you should.
Get a life
Lastly, whilst binge-watching Netflix following a day in the office might feel great, after staring at that exact screen all day, going straight to watching TV on it is going to dampen your mood after a few days. Whether it’s yoga in your back garden or finally learning how to knit, give yourself something to look forward to in the evening that isn’t going to give you square eyes.